- Category: The Church: The Higher Calling
Theme Text– “The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” (Luke 4:17)
1) ‘For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink’ - 1Corinthians 12:13. What is the meaning of this?
Just like it happened to Jesus and the Early Church members, Christ’s baptism results in the anointment of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit empowers the Church to fearlessly do the work of proclaiming God’s gospel of the Kingdom.
On the Day of Pentecost, church members received the power of the Holy Spirit and started spreading God’s message - They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31.
Note: For a study on the other miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit and whether they are active/relevant today, please refer to this article.
2) ‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’ - Matthew 3:11. What’s baptism with fire?
Baptism with the Holy Spirit builds, whereas the baptism with fire destroys. Sadly, many Christians pray for a baptism with fire, not knowing that fire is a symbol of destruction in the Bible.
The tares of Israel were baptized with fire at the end of the Jewish age (70 AD destruction), so will the tares of nominal Christendom and the World at the end of the Gentile age, before the Kingdom is established.
Note: Baptism with fire shouldn’t be confused with the fire-likeness of the tongues at Pentecost.
3) What did Jesus mention about the purpose of the anointment of the Holy Spirit of God?
“The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:17-19.
Jesus says God anointed him with His Spirit to proclaim good news to mankind. As followers of Jesus, baptized in his name, we too are anointed with the same Spirit so we may proclaim the true gospel to the world.
As Paul says, ‘There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ - Ephesians 4:4-6.
At baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit and begin our new lives dedicated for Christ’s true gospel, essentially to run the race marked out for us.
And just as the Apostle says, we become part of the body of Christ, as this is a race to be run together.
Questions for Further Study
- Sin-resistance isn’t our fight. So why do the Apostles ask us to avoid certain things like sexual immorality?
- What’s the best way to show Christian love to our fellow human beings?
- Why does God ask us to run this race of announcing the gospel of the Kingdom?
- We know most people are going to reject the gospel in present times. So what’s the point?
- How can we identify whether someone belongs to the body of Christ or not?